Presidents Message – June 2002
Posted On June 1, 2002
Internet comes to Anza
It was back in October 2001 that I first announced the plans we had developed for a high-speed internet and wireless network capability at our Anza site. After many setbacks along the way as of Friday May 18th, we have finally completed the installation of the satellite Internet connection.
Just a quick re-cap on what we are trying to do. Our Anza site is a long way away from the high-speed internet access systems that most of us can access in the heart of southern California. The idea is that with a high-speed internet access system, among many other uses, members who have their own observatories at Anza will be able to use this system to remotely operate their telescopes (update: I had the privilege of being the first person to see "Remote First Light" from Star Cruiser observatory on Saturday June 1st). It will also be possible for members who bring along their own computer to gain access to the Internet from almost any place on the Anza site - wherever they choose to setup.
While this facility will be of great benefit to the club and to many members, it is obviously not going to be used by every member and although this service will cost the club about $170 per month, it is expected the system will be fully self-funded by member use in a short period of time.
Over the next month we will be installing and testing the wireless systems that will enable complete access to this service. Look to the web site for more information about this system - and to find out how you can become a user of the service.
I would like to thank Jerry Mulchin for his incredible dedication in making this vision a reality.
The Dish for the Internet connection has been installed
onto the east side of the observatory position.
A little reflection
The board has been working on a little project over the past few months to develop a new club brochure. This color brochure will help introduce potential new members to the OCA by describing what we are all about. While developing this brochure I again realized and appreciated just how much the club owes to all the volunteers who help with the services and facilities that are such an important part of the club. Just go to the home page of the OCA's web site and you will see a link to this new brochure.
The front page of the brochure starts with a tag line of "Bringing the Universe into focus since 1967". That reminds me that we owe a lot to all the volunteers that have come before us - with their efforts we have a wealth of amazing resources available to us that make this hobby such a rewarding one.
On the OCA volunteer front - I have some sad news. Cathy Bailey-Weinberger has decided to take a break from the many, many years that she has been running the clubs extensive library. Cathy has done such an amazing job for us over the years - she will be very much missed. But that does not detract from the fact that Cathy has contributed such a great deal to the club over the years. We all owe her a great debt of thanks.
Thank you Cathy for all that you have done for the club!
By an amazing coincidence on the very night that Cathy discussed with me her desire to let "new blood" have a chance of running the library - we found a willing replacement right away. Karen Schnabel, senior program administrator for Learning Tree University and a volunteer at the Aliso Viejo Library has agreed to take on the task.
I am sure you will all welcome Karen to her new role when you meet her at the next meeting. Thanks Karen for agreeing to take on this very important and much appreciated role!
ANZA CLEAR-UP DAY.
We are planning a grand Anza clear-up day at the June Star Party. We have quite a bit of "spare" equipment and discarded items lying around the site and it is time to do some "spring cleaning". Please come along early on May 11th to help with the clear-out!
Members who have been with the club for more than a year should know of the annual Star-B-Ques that we run out at Anza. This is where we have a pot-luck/BBQ for all members to enjoy a nice social gathering prior to a great evening viewing in the comfortable environment of our site at Anza. We are planning on a little different Star-B-Que this year in both July and August. We are inviting the Riverside Astronomical Society (RAS) members to join us at Anza for the July event. The RAS is currently at the early stages of building out their own dark-sky site and we would like to extend whatever help we can with their task. One way to do this of course is to allow them to experience for themselves our Anza site. This will be a reciprocal arrangement where our members will also get an invitation to experience the new RAS site sometime. We are also looking to invite another society to the August Star-B-Que. I will give further news on this when the arrangements have been finalized.
"every day we are connecting ever more photons of light from distant galaxies to the eyes, hearts, minds and imaginations of our members and others in our community."